Dave Pierre uses a Jan. 2 NewsBusters post to screech about how the media is ignoring what is essentially a friend-of-the-court brief filed in a court case regarding sexual abuse of children by priests in the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese by "veteran attorney Donald H. Steier" in which he asserts that "about ONE-HALF of the claims made in the Clergy Cases were either entirely false or so greatly exaggerated that the truth would not have supported a prosecutable claim for childhood sexual abuse" (capital letters are his)."
Pierre makes a big deal out of how Steier submitted his brief "under penalty of perjury" and attacked an advocacy group for the victims of the priests.
But Pierre omits a pertinent fact: As Examiner.com's Kay Ebeling points out, Steier has served as a defense attorney for "accused priests all over southern California," which makes him hardly the unbiased, independent observer Pierre suggests he is. Indeed, the Los Angeles Diocese has paid Steier in the past.
As part of his representation of accused priests, Steier has opposed the release of internal church documents that would shed light on the abuse allegations -- which would seem to cast further doubt on the veracity of his claims.
Pierre goes on to hiliarously attack a response to Steier's filing by the victim-advocacy group SNAP, asserting that there is a "glaring absence from SNAP's statement. The organization does not refute nor deny any of the specific claims made by Steier. It simply labels them as 'outrageous' and 'hurtful.' That is hardly a blow to the explosive declaration aired by the veteran attorney." (Italics his.)
Pierre goes on to mock SNAP's call for church officialsto reveal how much money it has paid Steier. But Pierre doesn't deny that Steier was paid by the church, which raises the possibility that the brief Steier filed was also done on the church's payroll.
Pierre also has a poorly disclosed conflict of interest: His end-of-post bio asserts that he "is the author of the heralded book Double Standard: Abuse Scandals and the Attack on the Catholic Church." The Amazon page Pierre links to reveals that his book was published by CreateSpace, the self-publishing division of Amazon. As for how the book has been "heralded," the Amazon page has three Pierre-supplied laudatory quotes and exactly one reader review. We're not sure that qualifies as "heralded."
So Pierre is little more than an apologist for the Catholic Church, even as he concedes that "Yes, Catholic priests terribly abused minors, and bishops failed to stop the harm." That, by the way, is a line he basically copied-and-pasted from the promotional blurb for his self-published book.